The Samaritans’ Night

good-samaritanMy The tribunal is 2 short days away.  I plan to take hundreds of witnesses with me.  All wrapped up in a book of Sacred Stories.

Over the past week, I’ve transferred over 100 new stories to the website.  About that many are still awaiting review.  This afternoon, I’ve been binge reading and transferring.   Oh the anger I’ve felt for what we have done.  Oh the sadness for the children to whom we’ve done it.  It makes me want to clinch my fists, gallop to the court and pulverize the pernicious practice that is so precious to Mormonism.  It’s not precious.  IT.IS.PERVERTED.

A Focus Change–Please

This Sunday evening, many of you will gather for vigils in far-flung locations, including the quaint hamlet of Sugar Land, Texas.  You are gathering to support me.  I appreciate that very much.  However, I’d like to change the focus away from me.

The tribunal’s verdict may be an emotional roller coaster.  I can’t predict how I’ll react.  But, I’ll be okay.  Friends and family will be there to bouy me up.

Here’s my real concern.  How will my excommunication affect the thousands upon thousands of victims who are paying attention?  Our movement has given voice, validation and empathy to generations of traumatized children who are now adults.  With a safe place, widespread support and understanding, many have finally embarked on a healing journey.  My concern is that those who have been beaten, bruised and left abandoned on the side of the road may feel violated again as their stories are effectively rejected by the church in the form of my excommunication.

Here’s what I’d like to ask.  Let’s call the September 9th The Samaritans’ Night.  You are the Samaritans.  Gathered together in support of our dear wounded friends.  Many of you having been wounded yourselves.  And now, joined arm-in-arm, we are fellow Samaritans.  I am proud to be a part of you.

Whatever happens, we should celebrate one of the mostt gorgeous teachings of all time.  Jesus has issued a clear call to take up the name and character of Samaritan.

Story #717 caused me to clench my teeth in resolve as angry tears welled up.  I’m so sorry my friend that this occurred.

Still in therapy?  How can the church be so blind to what we do to children.  September 9, Samaritans will gather to pour oil and wine in your wounds.  Put you on their own horse and guide you safely to the inn.  You are loved.

I grew up in the same ward as a lot of my Facebook friends. We all had the same Bishops and ward leaders and I am so grateful to those that have shared their stories.

At age 11, I was in a room alone with the First Counselor for a worthiness interview. I was asked about specific items – masturbation, pornography, oral sex – none that I had ever heard of. I came home and looked those items up on the household computer. As a child, I had no idea how to use incognito mode and one day our home had a new rule that we could only use the computer in plain sight in the living room. No other explanation. We never had ‘the talk’ and sex education, including consent parts, was something I was always pulled out from school for.

Then, when I was 15, I was sexually assaulted by someone at school. I came home crying and finally told my mother a few days later via a hand-written letter. She then wrote me back, saying I needed to talk to the Bishop. I had avoided it since my initial meeting, but went anyway.

It was there that I was told that my assault was a direct consequence of wearing immodest shirts to young women activities earlier that month. He asked me if I was wet. He asked me if the boy was hard. He asked me if I liked it. Or if I had touched myself thinking about it. He told me I shouldn’t destroy that boy’s reputation over my own sins. I was forbidden to take the sacrament so I could repent. I walked out of there and left the church.

I’m still in therapy over this. Sexually explicit interviews are not acceptable in any way, shape, or form, for people under 18. It has damaged me in ways that are irreparable and I don’t want any other human beings to ever go through this.